What is a Gusset?

control top pantyhoseIt is good to know that the word “gusset” is not only used for pantyhose.  It simply means a piece of material sewn into a structure to create a proper fit.  You can find gussets used in shirts, bags, and so on.  Let me try to answer the question – what is a gusset?

Pantyhose gusset brings some debate.  I may find the courage to address it at some point.  Let’s just say that some people think it is there in order to be able to wear pantyhose without additional underwear.

But from brands like Fiore we see a strange thing – they only have gussets in size M and L, but not in size S.  It’s there for the fit.  Some other brands may have synthetic gussets, also to create a proper fit.

Somehow larger the size, more need is there for additional fabric in between, or maybe it’s just a side effect of production limitations.  A Polish lady told me that Marilyn hosiery brand, for example, finally found a way to create plus size pantyhose without having to use a large gusset.

Our local yoga pants brand for example states that they add gussets to their pants in order to increase comfort and mobility of pants that will never ride up.  They openly say that it prevents the embarrassing problem when the seam of the pants cuts in between the women’s legs and creates a visible cleft.

gusset schematic on pantyhose - what is a gusset

Inserting gussets is a time consuming procedure, so you may notice that cheaper brands may not have it.  You may be interested to see how many pantyhose patents there are on the internet trying to scheme around this.

Opinions?  I am sure you’ll have some!

Some Comments from the Forum:

by CJ, TightsFashionUK

What is a gusset?

“A gusset makes for a much better fit as well as ensuring there is no seam directly over sensitive areas. It is no accident that all quality brands include a gusset … as indeed do lesser brands on their premium styles. Gussets tend to be omitted only to save money in production.”


13 thoughts on “What is a Gusset?

  1. the gusset is part of pantyhose construction and function for hygiene and breathability for those who do not wear underwear with pantyhose. as well, the gusset does add strength and flexibility for the wearer to move around without fear of tearing their hose. from a manufacturing standpoint its also a joint that you can sew or attach to with less difficulty than having no gusset at all.

    • Peter, some gussets are synthetic. Like let’s say Gatta brand.

      But if the gusset is actually cotton, then it adds hygiene and breathability, yes.

      The word “gusset” itself is used in making of other clothing, but also in construction even.

      If you watch some manufacturing vids, adding gussets is a different step. More steps, more costs. At least that’s what I’ve been told by the industry people.

    • They give it those properties too ideally by making it out of cotton. But some gussets in pantyhose are synthetic, thus only being there for the fit.

  2. A few extra facts

    berkshire produces pantyhose with back panel gussets (also called comfort gusset) that have cotton in the crotch area.

    There are medical article on yeast infections that state this: “Make cotton queen. Choose cotton panties because they wick moisture away from your skin. Nylon will retain heat and moisture, which invites yeast to grow. If you prefer the feel of nylon against your skin, choose panties with a built-in cotton crotch. If your panties don’t have a cotton crotch, a panty liner or mini-pad may be a good substitute.

    Always wear panty hose with a cotton crotch, so air can pass through to cool and dry the vagina. And remember, you don’t have to wear panties with panty hose! The fewer layers of clothing you wear, the more ventilation you get.” (The Doctors Book of Home Remedies, Thousands of Tips and Techniques Anyone Can Use to Heal Everyday Health Problems. Bantam, USA 1991, ISBN 0553291564. Page. 707 )

    Which suggest there are synthetic panties that don’t have a cotton crotch either. I even KNOW that Gatta sells synthetic Bodysuits that only have a reinforcement in the crotch like a reusable kitchen microfibre kitchen towel.And since the gusset in pantyhose is also there for fit, its not coverd by an extra layer

    Or this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002480/ “Wear cotton underwear or cotton-crotch pantyhose. Avoid underwear made of silk or nylon, because these materials are not very absorbant and restrict air flow. This can increase sweating in the genital area, which can cause irritation.”

    Own note: Since the gusset in pantyhose is also there for fit, its not covered by an extra layer of fabric.

  3. Whoops, the first “And since the gusset in pantyhose is also there for fit, its not coverd by an extra layer” was not supposed to be there. Nor the second “kitchen”.

  4. From your research, it seems to me that the true “gusset” in a pair of pantyhose is more consistent with the “back panel” that’s included in the larger sizes of some (mostly European) brands. The cotton crotch is often a feature of the smaller sizes, but disappears when the back panel is added. As for “breathability”, from my observation, the inside is usually cotton, but the outside is nylon-lined, so there’s not much air getting through there.

      • I herd that before. But some are only interwove with a bit elstane or coloured on the outside. But I can only tell about Kunert, Belly Cloud and Wolford first hand.

          • I never claimed that it is one purpose only. And real manufacture information is hard to come by. By “real” I mean that advertisement agency knows what the engineer intended. One of the worst examples is one of Fiores push-up pantyhoses where the model on the package wears them back to front. The triangular belly panel between the but cheeks an the lifting belt for those cheeks on the upper front of her thighs. I am not talking about the image on an third party on-line shop but the manufactures very own product package. This apears to be a better example: http://www.bootights.com/why-bootights.html. Designed from a gal for gals. And remember: It’s an option.

  5. I remember reading something on this from Activskin. They said they used to make theirs without a gusset because they thought it was for the woman only but found that the design would not hold up and would either fit funny or tear extremely easy in the middle. So they basically just put it in and both problems were solved. So in that case it is 100% for fit and strength.

  6. Peter and Tobias are actually the most correct here… There are 2 types of gussets.

    There is a comfort gusset typically and extra nylon panel sewn into the back seam to for comfort and to accommodate larger sizes.

    There is also the cotton gusset added to the crotch area of the hosiery. This was added in the late 70s and early 80s by US brands for medical reasons in response to an outbreak of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Its to improve ventilation. It also reduces the chance of yeast infections.

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